What a year 2011 has been for SEO! The new Panda algorithm penalising thin content and lots of ecommerce sites springs most prominently to mind as the most major SEO event, other notable events include; document leaks revealing relevancy information, a rapid and unexpected update concerning recency within rankings and predominantly affecting fast moving news topics, an increased presence in the SERPs for those PPC Adwords and a new secure server for Gmail users resulting in organic search words now showing up frustratingly as “not provided” on Google Analytics although remaining visible for Adwords accounts.
Search engine Bing, has been steadily increasing its market share and now owns Yahoo, and we’ve also said hello to Google’s answer to Facebook; Google+ along with its consequent social metric, the +1 button.
And now…how to prepare for 2012?
Based on prior predictions and authority views from last year I would recommend once again investing your time in quality link-building; forging connections through social media outreach and looking to gain those quality inbound links. Outgoing links to relevant sources that contribute to your content can also give you a boost as can article marketing. Promoting yourself and link-building is still likely to be influential, however the bots are getting ever smarter at link-analysis, spammy links are more likely to get devalued-beware!
You can’t talk about 2012 without mentioning the “s” word; social. Keep your updates regular, personable and valuable, as a social media guru once said to me “treat social media like a friend…be consistent, kind, generous, upbeat and fun but make sure you’re serious when it matters”. Invest in your social media. Social’s impact on rankings has not been officially consolidated yet, however in terms of brand promotion and awareness you can’t deny its power and value.
“Content is King” a key phrase from 2011. Try to bring value and a new perspective if writing about existing concepts though to give your content an edge and encourage views and sharing.
What’s likely to happen?
Experts can only speculate on what’s in store for the turbulent world of SEO in 2012, will it be yet more space for paid search in the SERPs? A continued heavier push on Adwords, more searches on mobile viewing, a greater influence taken from Google analytics metrics in ranking or even (do I dare hope) perhaps finally some solid competition for Google? (I’m looking at you Bing!).
You certainly can’t call our industry boring, lateral thinking outside the box and a forward-thinking attitude will stand you in good stead for what’s sure to be another dramatic year in the world of search.